Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Phil Bates (88) runs with the ball during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson: Phil Bates could be 'that guy' for Seahawks at receiver

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Phil Bates hasn’t received much credit lately.

A former collegiate quarterback who was asked to change positions to succeed in the NFL, Bates has made the adjustment look fairly easy.

No, he doesn’t have a catch in the NFL though he is about to start his third season.

No, he doesn’t have a household name on a roster filled with superstars.

But he is competing, playing hard and turning heads.

In fact, his quarterback, Russell Wilson, thinks he could be the guy the Seahawks need to make their receiving corps that much better, per heraldnet.com.

“I’ve been telling some people that Phillip Bates was going to be that guy this year,” Wilson said. “He’s just a guy that’s worked so hard. You’ve got to remember Phillip Bates played quarterback for a long time in college so he’s kind of new to the wide receiver position.

“He’s got great speed, great hands. He’s got paws. I mean I’ve got huge hands, he’s got really big hands as well and he just catches the ball extremely well. He works extremely hard. He loves the game. He’s one of the first guys (here), last guys to leave. He’s dedicated to his craft and he’s learned a lot.”

Those are dear words coming from a guy who throws the ball to the likes of Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Percy Harvin regularly.

Bates is competing for a coveted roster spot with not one, not two, but 13 receivers.

His biggest competitors are probably Bryan Walters and Ricardo Lockette, both of whom have game-time experience with the Seahawks.

But Bates isn’t worried, nor is he intimidated, via the same heraldnet.com article.

“The sky’s the limit,” Bates said. “I’m still learning every day. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve got to do to keep getting better. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know what I’m saying? These guys have billions of catches on me, so I just have to keep getting better.”

Though Bates didn’t record a catch during Seattle’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, he did have a rush that went for five yards. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of time left for him to make his mark.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, he is one of the largest receivers on the roster, and he might be able to use that to his advantage.

Keep an eye on Bates as the preseason progresses. Right now, few know who he is, but people said the same thing about Jermaine Kearse one year ago.

Funny how things can change so quickly.

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